How to Make a Pressing Board for Quilting

If you’re into quilting, you know that there are so many things that can help the whole experience run smoother, whereas the results can be better.

The pressing board is one of the tools within the category, and no experience quilter is going to disagree.

Why building your pressing board important?


You don’t realize the difference there is between the regular ironing board and the one specially designed for pressing your quilt until you’ve tried both. Classic ironing boards feature a thick foam pad that is going to wiggle and squish as you’re applying the hot iron.

It also means that, when using a traditional ironing board, the fabric is going to move along with it and shift as you’re pressing on the ironing board. When you’re preparing the material for your quilting, using a pressing board is going to give far better results. A quilting pressing board provides a robust press and doesn’t alter the fabric in any way.

You need to starch and press fabric for stiffening the surface of the pressing board. You can bond the starch to the fabric fibers. When using a pressing board, the material is going to stay in place, as the starch remains bonded with the fabric and not with your pressing board or the iron.

You also need a quilting pressing board for pressing the pieced units (half square triangles or geese that can alter the fabric, shifting it against the slipping surface). When you’re using any method of applique, the pressing board is essential for the accuracy of your projects.

What are the benefits of building a quilting pressing board?

There are many good things related to a customized pressing board for quilting:

  • It’s easy and cheap

Regardless of what one may think, building a board requires necessary materials that you can find in any hardware store. You can also find pre-cut wood in a hardware store, eliminating the need for shopping for a big piece of plywood that you have to cut down on your own at home.

  • It’s durable

Even a cheap ironing board is going to take use for a reasonable amount of time. Some can also last for years. You may have to change the canvas after some time but simply because the colors wear out and lose the beautiful colors.

  • It provides the firm surface you need

Having a durable and stable coating is essential for pressing fabric, and the pressing table is what you need for your quilting.

  • You make one perfect for your precise needs

You can create an ironing board that has the size and shape you need. You can have a large board for pressing yardage and also a smaller one for the smaller projects. And now that you’re building make one for your traveling for a quilting workshop.

What’s the easiest way to make a pressing board for quilting?

It’s vital that you gather the materials you need for this project:

  • A couple of pieces of batting. It has to be larger than your plywood board
  • A piece of plywood- get the size and shape you need
  • A portion of fabric for the outer part of the pressing board. again, it’s up to you which one
  • A staple gun with some staples.

You should look for a beautiful space on the floor where you can put everything you need within reach.

Let’s check the steps to take too:

  • Fold the batting around the plywood board. use the staple gun for stapling it down
  • Lay the fabric for the outer part, making sure that the right side is down facing. Staple the folded top section to the board.
  • Continue with folding the bottom part of the fabric. It’s essential that you pull it tight, but don’t exaggerate. You also need to staple it to the board.
  • Fold the sides over, tucking them under and don’t stop stapling.

Some suggestions

As it’s your pressing board, you can try all sorts of ways for designing and building it. No matter which way you choose, take a look at some general guidelines:

  • You should use a 100%cotton duck as it has a good grip. You can prewash it for shrinking as pressing is going to imply a lot of steaming (you want to stay safe).  Remember to take it out of the dryer before it’s scorched.
  • Use 100% cotton for the batting, but only one layer of it. It’s the surface where you’re going to work, so make sure it’s not too soft for pressing.

Some fabrics come with a 3% shrinkage rate (it depends on the materials) after your quilt is done and washed. Some manufacturers don’t recommend prewashing of the batting before you use it for the quilt. The duck is going to keep everything in place, so stapling may not even be necessary.

Many are also using the spray adhesive, but it’s again about whatever floats your boat. If you like working with it, you should give it a go. You may still control the batting only with the use of the wood and the duck, though.

One straightforward method for the newbies out there

If you’re looking for a lighter and more portable pressing board, you can easily use a piece of foil covered insulation. Cut it 4ft by 18-20” (again, you can decide on the size you need). You can take it with you wherever you go, setting it on the counter. It’s a firm surface to work on.

Don’t forget that the best part about making your quilting pressing board is making it the size you need, width and length included.

When you’re using a lot of starch in your piecing, you know that the top layer of cotton of the pressing board isn’t going to do it. You can fix it by adding another layer of cotton duck over the first one or remove it when you’re not happy with the results anymore. An extra layer of muslin on top can be a reliable solution too.

Other resources

How to choose the right chairs for your home

How to make a pressing board

How to Build a Firm Pressing Board |

DIY: Make a Pressing Board – Samelia’s Mum